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MARE-DASM: Marine Resources Damage Assessment and Sustainable Management of the North Sea

Research project MN/DD1/007 (Research action MN)


Persons :


Description :

To be assured of a high standard of living riparians of the North Sea make different uses of the North Sea. In order to achieve a sustainable use of the North Sea, it is necessary to restrict the harmful use of it. In recent years a lot of national and international measures and principles to protect the ecosystem of the North Sea were adopted. In the new OSPAR Convention of 1992 all North Sea states and the European Commission agreed to use the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle for the protection of the marine environment. The implementation of these measures and principles often causes practical problems. The research done in the framework of MARE-DASM will propose a solution for these problems.

The project has two main objectives who have a different goal but the results of the first objective (theme 1) will partly be integrated to obtain the second objective (theme 2).

Theme 1: the socio-economic cost of a degradation of the marine environment.
The first objective of the project is to make an identification and quantification of different factors contributing to the degradation of the marine environment in the Belgian part of the North Sea (Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology, Prof. Dr. C. Janssen). This identification and quantification must be the basis for the evaluation of the direct and indirect economic and social costs of degradation, accidentally or permantly (Maritime Institute, Prof. Dr. F. Maes, with subcontractor Environmental Consultancy and Assistance (ECOLAS), Dr. P. Vanhaecke). The cost of degradation will be compared with the economic and social profits of the use of the Belgian part of the North Sea by the current generation, in order to come to propositions of measures to be taken by the government to guarantee a sustainable use of the sea for the future generations (Maritime Institute, Prof. Dr. F. Maes).

Theme 2: The risk of the accidental oil/chemical pollution of the marine environment.
The second objective of the project aims at making an estimation and prediction models of the potential damage of the ecosystems of the Belgian part of the North Sea caused by oil and other chemical products, as well as the socio-economic impact of this damage in a number of selected cases (Management Unit of the Mathematic Models of the North Sea, Dr. G. Pichot). The mathematical determination of the damage must enable the development of technical and legal procedures that allow to evaluate the degradation of the marine environment and to recover it financially on the polluter (Centre for Environmental Law, Prof. Dr. H. Bocken (national law) and Maritime Institute, Prof. Dr. F. Maes (international law)).

Activities

Task I "identification and quantification of different factors contributing to the degradation of the marine environment" will study, next to the identification and quantification, the distribution of the contaminants in the environmental compartments in order to fine-tune the Biological Effects Submodel for the long term effects. The results of task I should enable to estimate the degradation of the marine environment. This estimation is a starting point for a part of the research that will be done in task II "the development of socio-economic assessment criteria to determine in an objective way the cost of degradation", namely the quantification of damage to the environment based on use values. For the socio-economic assessment criteria the quantification of environmental damage based on option and existence values (Contingent Valuation Method) will also be used.

Research from tasks I and II will contribute to the research in tasks III and IV. In task III "the development and evaluation of measures that need to be taken by the government in order to guarantee a sustainable use of the sea", measures will be proposed allowing Belgium to obtain an optimal integrated policy and sustainable use of the North Sea, taking into account the social costs and the political and legal-technical feasibility. The uses at sea will be set out on a priority scale in function of their degradation impact on the marine environment of the North Sea (cf. task I). The different uses will also be given an economic and social value, varying according to the different uses. Using the policy option "sustainable management" as a starting point, policy measures for every use will be proposed, taking into account the efficiency, the social costs and benefits that can be expected for the socio-economic groups and the possibility for the government to take action. The ecological effects (task I) and the defined socio-economic assessment criteria (task II) will be integrated into the mathematical model (task IV "to develop and evaluate mathematical models assessing the risks bound to accidental spillage of oil and other chemicals at sea and the damage they can cause, at the environmental and socio-economic levels"). The mathematical model will be developed by the Management Unit of the Mathematical Models of the North Sea (MUMM), but is however limited to the assessment of risks for environmental damage in case of accidental discharges of oil and other chemical products. Task V contains "the development of technical and legal procedures that allow to evaluate the degradation of the marine environment and to recover it financially on the polluter". On the one hand we are dealing with national and international liability law, with the polluter pays principle as a starting point and on the other hand with legal-technical and administrative procedures in order to evaluate the degradation (environmental damage as well as disruption to the environment) financially and to recover it from the polluter.

For further information

Prof. Dr. F. Maes
Maritime Institute
University Ghent - Department of Public International Law
Universiteitstraat 6, B-9000 Ghent
Tel: +32 9 264 68 95 Fax: +32 9 264 69 89 E-mail: Frank.Maes@rug.ac.be


The partners

The Maritime Institute of the University of Ghent is the coordinator and will work with ECOLAS (Environmental Consultancy and Assistance) as a subcontractor. Other satellites are the Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology of the University of Ghent, the Management Unit of the Mathematical Models of the North Sea (MUMM) and the Centre for Environmental Law of the University of Ghent.

Coordinator
Prof. Dr. F. Maes
Maritime Institute
University of Ghent - Department of Public International Law
Universiteitstraat 6, B-9000 Ghent
Tel: +32 9 264 68 95 Fax: +32 9 264 69 89 E-mail: Frank.Maes@rug.ac.be

The Maritime Institute is an independent research unit advising and carrying out studies for governmental administrations, non-governmental organizations and private companies. The staff of the Institute is specialized in research topics concerning maritime law, law of the sea, marine environmental law, transport law and related policy studies

Satellite 1
Dr. P. Vanhaecke
Environmental Consultancy and Assistance (ECOLAS)
Lange Nieuwstraat 43, B-2000 Antwerp
Tel. +32 3 233 07 03 Fax. +32 3 233 81 20 E-mail: ecolas@pophost.eunet.be

ECOLAS has been responsible for the implementation of research tasks concerning the development of socio-economic criteria to define damage to the marine environment (use values). To implement the results of this type of research, ECOLAS made good contacts with other organisations, in particular in the United States. ECOLAS is also appointed by the Belgian court as expert for the financial quantification of damage by pollution.

Satellite 2
Prof. Dr. C. Janssen
Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology
University of Ghent - Department of Applied Ecology and Environmental Biology
J. Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Ghent
Tel. (09) 264 37 75 Fax: (09) 264 41 99 E-mail: Colin.Janssen@rug.ac.be

The research within the Ecotoxicology unit of the Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology (LET) is aimed at the development and evaluation of methods for the effects assessment of contaminants on biota (present in water, sediment and soil). In a recent study a specific methodology was developed for the ecological impact assessment of contaminants in the marine environment. The Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology established throughout the years several contacts with international marine research institutes.

Satellite 3
Dr. ir. G. Pichot
Management Unit of the Mathematical Models of the North Sea (MUMM)
Gulledelle 100, B-1200 Brussels
Tel. +32 2 773 21 11 Fax: +32 2 770 69 72 E-mail: mummgp@camme.ac.be

The Management Unit of the Mathematical Models of the North Sea (MUMM) is a federal government scientific institution with activities in marine research, monitoring and management. Research at MUMM focusses on providing the necessary knowledge and tools for scientific management of the North Sea ecosystem based on mathematical modelling, remote sensing and in situ measurements. MUMM intensively cooperates with other European and non-European oceanographic laboratories and governmental institutions.

Satellite 4
Prof. Dr. H. Bocken
Centre for Environmental Law
University of Ghent - Department of Civil Law
Universiteitstraat 4, B-9000 Ghent
Tel. +32 9 264 69 23 Fax: +32 9 264 69 90 E-mail: Hubert.Bocken@rug.ac.be

The Centre for Environmental Law of the University of Ghent conducts research on various aspects of environmental law and the influence of the European and Belgian institutional context on environmental law, compensation for environmental damage, soil sanitation, nature conservation and town and country planning. The Centre is also responsible for the elaboration of computarized information systems on legislation, jurisprudence and doctrine in the field of environmental law.


Documentation :

For further information:
Universiteit Gent - Vakgroep International Publiek Recht
Universiteitstraat 6, 9000 Gent
Tel: (09) 264 68 95 Fax: (09) 264 69 89 E-mail: Frank.Maes@rug.ac.be

MARE-DASM conference 12-13 june 2003:

Marine Resource Damage Assessment : liability and Compensation for Environmental Damage  Maes, Frank (ed)  Dordrecht : Springer, 2005 (PB6150)

Beoordeling van de mariene degradatie in de Noordzee en voorstellen voor een duurzaam beheer - MARE-DASM : eindrapport  Maes, F. - Janssen, C. - Pichot, G. ... et al  Brussel : Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid, 2004 (SP1387)
[Exhausted] 

Bibliografic references :

Sustainable management of the North Sea: what measures can legally be taken by Belgium in favour of marine biological diversity ?, in (ed.) Verhandelingen van het symposium: "Tien jaar na Rio. Hoe is het met de biodiversiteit in België ?  MAES, F.FRANKLIN, A, PEETERS, M. & VAN GOETHEM, J. Bulletin van het Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor natuurwetenschappen - Biologie, Vol. 73 Suppl, 2003 

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